The Power of an Apology

I’ll admit it; I was cranky this weekend. I had a tough week, I’ve traveled A LOT and I’m so far behind on some things, I think I see myself up ahead.

Twice, I snapped at clerks who were assisting me with purchases and transactions this weekend. In both cases, I went back and apologized.

The first clerk simply looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Yeah, whatever”, and walked away.

The second person made me realize the power of the apology.

He looked across the counter – he was on one side, I was on the other. When he saw me standing there, he said, “Oh. You’re back”, in a very neutral tone.

“Yes, I am”, I said. “I came back to apologize for being cranky with you this morning.”

He reached across the counter, put his hand on top of mine and said, “You have absolutely NO idea how much that means to me. I’ve had quite the morning and while you most certainly weren’t the crankiest person I’ve had, you are the only one who apologized. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

I looked him in the eyes and said, “I was wrong, you were right and because I didn’t like the answer you gave me, I snapped at you. All you were doing was doing your job. And I am sincerely sorry.” With that, we shook hands, and I walked out.

Just as I reached the door, I heard him say to a co-worker, “Did you HEAR that? She apologized! Wow!”.

Next time you mess up, apologize. I had to drive ten miles round trip and stand in line to do it, but it was worth every moment. And even though my first apology wasn’t well received, that was worth it, too.

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